C-SUITE

Albertsons Companies names longtime retail executive as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Albertsons Companies has tapped a veteran retailer with four CEO stints under his belt as its next chief executive.

The supermarket retailer said it has promoted Jim Donald, currently the company’s president and COO, to president and CEO of Albertsons Companies, effective immediately. He succeeds Robert Miller, who will continue as chairman,

Donald’s 47-year retail career began as a trainee in Florida with Publix Supermarkets. He joined Albertsons in 1976, which culminated in his being appointed VP of operations in Arizona. In 1991, he was recruited by Sam Walton to join Walmart to lead the development of their grocery business and superstore concept.

From Walmart, Donald went to Safeway, and then to Pathmark Stores, where he served as CEO from 1996 through 2002. He then went to Starbucks Corp., where he spent six years, including serving as president and CEO from 2005 to 2008.

Post Starbucks, Donald served as CEO of two other companies, Haggen and Extended Stay America, where he led its successful $565 million IPO. In March, Donald joined Albertsons as president and COO.

“Jim is an exceptional retailer,” Miller said. “In the seven months since he joined Albertsons Companies, he’s flown tens of thousands of miles and met personally with thousands of employees in hundreds of our stores, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and offices around the country,” Miller said. “His expertise in listening to front line employees and customers, facilitating employee engagement and generating sales is unmatched, and there is no better leader for Albertsons Companies at this state in our evolution.”

Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal kit company Plated based in New York City.

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